We will suffer because of our belief in Jesus Christ. Jesus teaches us not to be afraid or to lose heart, because God will vindicate us. By patiently enduring suffering, we will gain life without end. This hope of ultimate victory can keep us firm in times of trial.
In the midst of all the troubles of this life, God is at our side constantly strengthening us through Jesus Christ. We believe in the resurrection of the dead and so are called as children of God to the hope of eternal life. Our God is not God of the dead but of the living.
The Lord is the lover of life and his imperishable Spirit is in all things. He overlooks our sins so that we can repent. God’s love reaches its
fulfilment in Christ who has come to save everybody, if only, like Zacchaeus, they will meet him and accept him into their lives. Today salvation has come to us too if we are prepared to welcome Christ into our hearts.
Like the Pharisee, those who are self-righteous have closed minds and hearts; they consider themselves superior to others. In contrast, those who are humble recognise that they are sinners before God; it is their prayer that will be answered. When we recognise that we need help we will receive it because we know that the answer to our prayer is due to God’s mercy and not to our own goodness.
When we pray, we sometimes are tempted to give up if God does not seem to answer us immediately. Christ teaches us to persevere, and we can know that he is always interceding for us to his father. As long as we pray in faith, we will never be beaten by those who are against us.
It is right always to give thanks to the Lord for his constant goodness to us. He gives us new life through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ. If we die with him, we shall also live with him. We were like lepers through sin; but now we are made new through Christ’s saving power, which cleanses and heals us.
We are called to continue professing and practising our faith in God, even in the midst of a materialistic world. It will not be easy, and so we require Christ’s help. We are never to be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord; we have his Spirit with us, and can rely on his power.
Jesus teaches about the dangers of inequality in the distribution of wealth. The rich man will be punished in the next life because of his indifference to the poor man who lay hungry at the gate of his house. Luxury and holiness are rarely found together. We are called to share our goods, just as we are called to share our faith in Christ with others through the way in which we live.
We are called to be people who are on the side of those who are
oppressed. We are to stand up for those who are poor, who are so often exploited by rich people for the sake of material gain. It is vital to put money and power into proper perspective in our lives. We cannot serve both God and money.
Jesus’ story of the prodigal son is one of the most famous ever told. The father in the story is merciful to his wayward son because he loves him. God is our Father and forgives us because he loves us. The parable teaches us to have no fear in returning to God, no matter what we have done in the past. Our Father loves us so much that he sent Christ into this world to forgive sinners.